- Kale and collard greens are cruciferous vegetables that come from the cabbage family, both are very low in calories but rich in many essential vitamins and minerals
- Both cruciferous vegetables are rich in antioxidants that can help to prevent various diseases including certain cancers
- For those who don’t like a lot of greens, consider using a supplement such as Supergreen Tonik which contains a blend of 38 plant-based superfoods including 2000mg of concentrated kale and collard greens powder
Both kale and collard greens are cruciferous vegetables that come from the cabbage family. They are often used interchangeably; however, these greens are very different from each other.
While kale sports long, curly, skinny leaves, collards have a wider and flatter leaf that is smoother than kale.
Both greens are relatively hearty and stiff. They both have a mildly bitter flavor, but collard greens tend to be less bitter.
Many people prefer these greens to be cooked over raw, especially collard greens.
Kale is more likely to be used in a salad or enjoyed raw. In salads, many will massage kale with olive oil or lemon juice to help create a more tender texture without cooking.
Kale vs Collard Greens Compared
Both kale and collards are very low in calories but rich in many essential vitamins and minerals. Collard greens are a rich source of fiber and vitamin K. They also contain a good amount of vitamins A, C, and folate. (Source)
Kale contains a good source of vitamin K and vitamin C as well but not quite as much as collard greens. It is also not as high in fiber as collards however, kale contains more iron per serving. (Source)
Both kale and collard greens are rich in antioxidants, compounds that help to reduce oxidative stress in the body and protect against disease-causing free radicals.
Other types of cruciferous vegetables aside from kale and collard greens include brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, and radishes.
How Much Should We Be Eating?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), adults should aim to consume at least 2.5 -3 cups of vegetables per day. These do not need to be only cruciferous vegetables; however, it is encouraged to consume more of these types of veggies in your diet for maximum health benefits. (Source)
Although cruciferous vegetables are incredibly healthy, if you are not used to eating them there are a few things you should know before you begin introducing them into your diet.
Cruciferous vegetables are commonly high in fiber as well as the compound sulforaphane, which can cause gas, bloating, and upset stomach in some.
If you are not used to eating these types of foods, be sure to introduce them slowly to avoid any uncomfortable side effects.
Sometimes cooking cruciferous vegetables can help avoid any discomfort. This is because it helps to break down the sugar raffinose, which humans are unable to break down in their digestive system and can often contribute to gas.
How To Get More Cruciferous Vegetables Into Your Diet
Many Americans struggle with getting adequate cruciferous and other forms of vegetables in their diet. With many highly processed convenience foods options, health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are on the rise.
Adults struggling to get in adequate vegetables into their diet might want to consider taking a green powder supplement.
Many different varieties on the market provide concentrated forms of fruits and vegetables to ensure you are getting adequate vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that you cannot obtain from your diet.
Although green powders do not replace vegetables altogether, they can be a helpful addition to balance out your diet.
You should always continue to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals as you can to get the most health benefits.
What About Green Powders?
Green powders, such as Supergreen Tonik can be a great way to fill in any nutritional gaps. This supplement provides a blend of 38 plant-based superfoods including 2000mg of concentrated kale and collard greens powder.
It is loaded with antioxidants, and they provide full transparency with their labeling so you can feel confident in what you are getting with their products.
Green powders can be like multivitamins however, multivitamins don’t typically contain concentrated forms of fruits and vegetables but rather just vitamins and minerals. Many green powders contain both.
With any supplement, you always want to make sure you are getting it from a trusted brand that provides transparency with its ingredients. Supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as medication but rather as food.
This means supplement companies don’t have to verify their claims with supporting evidence. Supplements are also not taken off the market unless an adverse side effect is reported by the public. (Source)
Your health is more important than taking a chance on an unfamiliar brand or company. Always be cautious and speak with your healthcare provider before adding a supplement to your routine.
Are Green Powders A Waste Of Money?
Some may argue that green powders are a waste of money, and to someone who has an excellent diet, this may be true. However, most of the population would likely find benefit to taking a form of green powder to make sure they are getting adequate vitamins and minerals in their diet.
If nothing else, taking a supplemental green powder can help provide peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to make sure you are getting the best nutrition for yourself.
Whether you agree with taking a green powder or not, don’t rule it out until you give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Meghan is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist from San Jose, California. She received her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in 2015. Following an unexpected cross-country trip that landed her in Florida, she completed her didactic training through AdventHealth Orlando.
Meghan has extensive experience in multiple aspects of dietetics including critical care, motivational interviewing, writing, and research. She is passionate about health and wellness and has dedicated her free time to breaking down complicated nutrition topics and disseminating them to the public through the arena of writing.